Welcome to the Middle East Today

The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Jul 1, 2010

The Nile River Water Conflict

The Nile River basin countries meetings with Sudan and Egypt in Adis-Ababa ended June 27, 2010 without reaching an agreement on water sharing. Both Egypt and Sudan still refused to accept the new treaty that was signed by five members rejecting the 1929 and 1959 Nile Water sharing agreement. Representatives from international organizations such as the World Bank and officials from countries that are willing to participated in the construction of dams to generate power and other agricultural development projects attended the meeting. Egypt and Sudan continue to insist that no project should be constructed that will decrease the flow of the Nile River water to both countries. The Nile is the lifeline for Egypt in particular, as it provides 95% of its water needs. The Nile River water flow from the South (Lake Victoria) to the North is more than 5,500 kilometers and Egypt is located at the end before it flows into the sea. Egypt and Sudan’s opposition to the newly proposed treaty is based on international law that focuses on international rivers, where water is shared by more than one country.

Water is a national security issue that might affect the survival of countries that depend on it. Again, a classic example is Egypt, where annual rainfall tends to be very meager, not exceeding 2 inches per year. The members of the Nile River agreed to meet in the fall of 2010 in Nyrobi, Kenya. This meeting will be attended by the prime ministers of these countries. In the meantime, the Egyptian government should set an example for other members in terms of water management. Several reports have reflected that more than 45% of the Nile River water reaching Egypt is wasted. The vast majority of villages in rural Egypt still lack water recycling systems. Furthermore, the Egyptian newspapers have been publishing articles with pictures as evidence of the misuse of the Nile River in rural areas. The river serves as a place for the washing of clothing and cooking utensils, in addition to the dumping ground for garbage. Even in many homes, dripping water from the faucet is not unusual, because it is cheaper than bringing a plumber to fix it. In general, Egyptians are clearly not aware of the dilemma of water shortages in their country. The government must conduct a national water awareness program to preserve and keep water resources clean. Their life in the near future depends on it, especially n light of the continuous growth of the population, which has been estimated at 2.3 million people per year.

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